Remember last month’s coverage of the January jobs report? I noted it at the time, pointing out the Job Growth Slows and Jobs growth was modest in January headlines and that stocks were struggling after the jobs report.
The big story was that 111,000 new jobs were added in January instead of the 150,000 that analyists had expected.
I noted that 111,000 isn’t too shabby, and that revisions to the November and December numbers upped additions in those months by a total of 81,000. That revision, of course, much more than offset the shortfall in January.
But look what happened to that 111,000 number. It turned into 146,000 after the first of what will be two revisions. Also, the December total was upped by an additional 20,000.
So, at this point, it appears that the January number was 146,000 instead of 150,000 and that the November+December number was 422,000 instead of the 321,000 that had been reported in December. February, we see, added 97,000 instead of the 100,000 expected.
So, corrections to the November and December numbers (totalling 101,000 new jobs) offset the shortfall in January and February (totalling 7,000).
Employment numbers for each month are revised twice as more information becomes available and it studied more closely following the initial announcement. Bascially, I’m expecting next month to nudge both the January (final) and February (first revision) up over forecasts. I’m also expecting March numbers to miss expectations by a bit and we’ll be hearing about how things continue to slow.
Also, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.5% and wages rose 0.4%, both very healthy numbers.
Noted for future reference:
Analysts expect the unemployment rate, which dropped to a six-year low of 4.6 percent last year, will creep up this year as economic growth slows. Some believe the jobless rate could climb to close to 5 percent by the end of this year. The economy expanded by 3.3 percent last year, the best showing in two years. Growth, however, is expected to ebb to around 2.7 percent for all of 2007.
UPDATE: Meanwhile, Michigan’s unemployment rate is a whopping 6.9%. And that’s an improvement!
December’s rate, however, was revised from 7.1% to 7.2%. Only in Michigan can the number buck the trend to so completely. Who’s running the Michigan economy? Matt Millen?